France to consider law that would strip naturalised citizens of nationality if they attack police
By Mail Foreign Service
Last updated at 4:03 PM on 28th September 2010
Hardline: A new law proposed by immigration minister Eric Besson could see naturalised French citizens who attack police officers stripped of their nationality
Nicolas Sarkozy's government will present a law that would strip naturalised French citizens of nationality if they threatened police.
The law, put forward by immigration minister Eric Besson, would also see immigrants expelled if they were an 'unreasonable' strain on welfare or guilty of 'aggressive begging'.
Eric Besson will present the law in France's lower house of parliament later today. It is expected to include higher punishments for fake marriages.
Mr Besson said in an interview with Le Parisien that the loss of citizenship for those who attacked police officers 'has a serious symbolic and national meaning'.
Immigrant rights groups have strongly criticised the bill, saying it would create a two-tier system of citizenship and worsen tensions surrounding immigration into France.
It comes after strong criticism from the EU over the policy to deport Roma gypsies to Eastern Europe.
More than 1,000 gypsies have been deported in the last few weeks, mostly to Bulgaria and Romania.
Mr Sarkozy launched a crackdown on 100 illegal, makeshift camps and offered them £250 per person to return to their country of origin - and an extra £2,500 for anyone able to produce a viable business plan.
Worried by poor ratings in the opinion polls, Mr Sarkozy has deliberately linked his campaign on the Roma migrants to a general drive on security.
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